IBM Scoops Up Softek

IBM on Monday said it will acquire long-time partner Softek Storage Solutions Corp. in a move to boost its storage and data services business.

IBM has partnered with the data mobility and replication specialist since 1996. After the merger is completed, the Virginia-based Fujitsu/Amdahl spinoff will become part of the Storage and Data Services business unit in IBM Global Technology Services. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Softek’s Transparent Data Migration Facility (TDMF) allows non-disruptive movement and management of data across storage platforms and operating systems while maintaining data and application availability.

“As data capacity and compliance requirements continue to increase, companies depend on continuous access to their business-critical information,” Val Rahmani, general manager of IBM Global Technology Services, said in a statement. “Softek’s data migration technology will complement IBM’s Information on Demand strategy and significantly bolster our Storage and Data Services portfolio.”

Softek claims more than half of the Fortune 1000 as clients. IBM has used Softek’s products to migrate data on thousands of services engagements around the globe. Softek has its own global network of partners, distributors and resellers, among them EMC.

In a statement, IBM said software-based services solutions like Softek’s “are IBM’s silver bullet as it moves its $47 billion Global Services business from a traditional labor-based model to one that increasingly leverages repeatable, software-based services. … IBM’s acquisition of Softek will also give it a powerful weapon as it takes on EMC in the storage wars.”

TSM Gets an Overhaul

Also on Monday, IBM announced an overhaul of its Tivoli Storage Manager enterprise data protection software, adding new security features and improved application availability.

TSM version 5.4 now offers the ability to consolidate and group the most current data into one storage pool to help clients restore data faster and decrease application downtime, and a key management feature eases the burden on the storage administrator to centralize encryption key management.

TSM also offers data shredding, overwriting data that is moved or deleted from designated storage pools to protect sensitive deleted data and ensure compliance with privacy regulations.

On the hardware front, TSM now supports application managed encryption, with the ability to generate and communicate encryption keys to IBM System Storage TS1120 drives, allowing encryption on the tape drive. The software also includes tighter integration with IBM’s NAS offerings and IBM Storage Process Manager.

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